For Texas Bars & Restaurants: Taxes Are Still Due Today

Despite petitions, letter-writing campaigns and thousands of calls to Governor Greg Abbott’s office asking for the state sales tax payment due today to be deferred, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar released a statement saying that is not going to happen. Kevin Lyons, spokesperson for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, clarified to us that, “This also applies to the mixed beverage tax. The deadline of March 20, today, remains in place.”

Hegar provided several reasons for not moving the deadline. One, he says the state needs the money to combat the current coronavirus crisis.

“I know this will be difficult for many businesses, especially small businesses, that are facing a severe downturn in customer activity,” Hegar said. “These dollars, however, represent money collected from individual Texans, and Texans expect those dollars to be available to provide emergency health care and support other emergency operations during this difficult time.”

Second, taxes collected are expected to be held “in trust.” In other words, taxes are supposed to be held until paid to the state and not used for anything else, such as payroll or operating expenses. Even under normal circumstances, the taxes collected cannot legally be used by owners to give themselves a loan to help float their businesses.

A separate message further clarifies: “While the Comptroller’s office recognizes the hardships businesses are facing during these uncertain times, the taxes that are due are based on sales made in February and collected by businesses on behalf of the state and local governments in February, the decision is not to extend or delay the March due dates for state and local sales taxes, hotel taxes, mixed beverage gross receipts and sales taxes, motor vehicle rental tax, seller-financed motor vehicle sales tax and motor fuels taxes.”

The full statement is available to read online. For questions or additional information, owners of businesses that collect state sales tax should visit the Texas Comptroller contact page.

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